As of March 1, 2017 the NJCAA National Official has reviewed and ruled on 50 non-collegial incidents that have taken place in NJCAA contests so far this academic year. Please note that a Non-Collegial incident refers to events which may occur outside of or within the realm of competition, events which may not have resulted in an ejection or suspension and/or events which violate the general expectation of sportsmanship and standard of collegiality by which member institutions are bound.
In accordance with Article XVIII, Section 1, General Sportsmanship Expectations: A basic principle of NJCAA athletic competition is to develop and foster respect for fellow participants, coaches, officials and spectators. This expectation applies to all NJCAA member institutions at all times. When an incident, which does not support this adopted expectation occurs in a game, this incident is defined as a non-Collegial Incident (Art. XVIII, Sec. 3). All non-collegial incidents are reviewed by and ruled on by the NJCAA National office (Art. XVIII, Sec. 6). At this time of year with all of the tournament play going on, review by the NJCAA National Office may not be able to be completed as soon as needed considering many times teams are playing multiple days in a row. That being a possibility, the following should always be the standard:
- Region Director’s should review the incident and make an initial or preliminary ruling.
- Minimum sanctions (as per Article XVIII) imposed by the region must be served immediately.
- All information used to make this decision (officials reports, video evidence, etc..) will be forwarded to the NJCAA National Office.
- After review by the NJCAA National Office, additional penalties could be issued.
- Any ejections issued by the Region Director or NJCAA National Office must be recorded in the Region Director’s yearly region ejection report.
- Suspended individuals are not permitted in or at the venue or stadium at any time before or during the game or contest from which they are suspended.
- It is every member college’s responsibility to know the bylaws of the association of which they have chosen to be a member.
- It is the expectation of the Association that all Region Directors assist in enforcing the mandated minimum sanctions/penalties when any incident occurs.
As an example, if an athlete is ejected by a game official but for whatever reason the athlete does not leave the bench area as required by rule, it is expected that a Region Director who is in attendance should go to the coach, in an appropriate manner, and direct them on what the proper procedures/requirements are. In this case the Region Director is assisting the school so they do not incur additional sanctions due to an issue of non-compliance.
- When a Region Director is eye witness to an altercation, the Region Director has the ability and authority to interpret the situation and communicate the minimum mandated sanction to the offending institution. The Region Director has this authority even if the game officials do not eject an athlete for their actions.
As an example, there is an on court/field altercation between two opposing players. They both shove each other. The referee/official does not eject any players as they say it was not a fight. In accordance with NJCAA bylaws, these actions should be considered a violent act and both players, by rule, should receive a violent ejection. It would be appropriate for the Region Director to communicate the rule and notify the AD at the member institution of the minimum penalty that should be carried out. The incident is then relayed to the NJCAA National Office for review and confirmation of the penalty.
- Mandated Suspensions: When an athlete, coach or bench personnel is ejected from a contest, there is always a suspension to be served. One (1) game suspension for a non-violent ejection or two (2) game suspension for a violent ejection. It is the requirement that these suspensions are immediately served in the next regularly scheduled games on the schedule at the time of the ejection. At no time may games be added after an ejection and qualify to be part of the suspension.
In the case of non-collegial incidents or multi-person ejections the NJCAA protocol (Art. XVIII, Sec. 5.B) is the following:
- The NJCAA and the respective Region Director must receive a written incident report from the ADs of all schools involved. This is, by rule, required to be submitted by noon the next business day. The incident must include the following:
- Date and location of incident
- Names of schools involved
- Names of individuals involved and their roles (athlete, asst. coach, etc)
- Specific details of the incident
- Notification of anyone who was ejected from the contest by game officials as a result of the incident.
- Copy of or link to video footage should be provided by each school, if video was recorded.
- Not required but helpful is any game officials report.
- The Region Director will make a preliminary ruling based on their review of the video evidence and AD / officials reports. The Region Directors will make a quick report to Brian Beck at the NJCAA National Office disclosing their interpretations of NJCAA rules and identifying violations of the NJCAA Sportsmanship Code which they see.
- Region Directors may communicate to involved college what the minimum ruling will be with the understanding that the NJCAA National Office will review the situation and provide a final ruling.
- The NJCAA National Office will dialogue with the Region Directors to provide a final ruling.